Part 2: Asthma Treatment through the Ages

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How asthma was treated hundreds of years ago.  Here is a list of some things that happened over the years. I am glad we are not relying on these fixes to help us get better. What about you?

 

This picture is a 1907 advertisement for Grimault's Indian Cigarettes, emphasising their alleged efficacy for the relief of asthma and other respiratory conditions Source: File:Grimaults cigarette ad.jpg - https://en.wikipedia.org

This picture is a 1907 advertisement for Grimault’s Indian Cigarettes, emphasising their alleged efficacy for the relief of asthma and other respiratory conditions
Source: File:Grimaults cigarette ad.jpg – https://en.wikipedia.org

History of Asthma

  • The term asthma comes from the Greek word ásthma, “panting”. (Wikipedia)
  • Hippocrates (400BC) was the first to use the term Asthma and to identify a link between environment and the disease.
  • The earliest reference of asthma has been found in China from 2600BC
  • Alexander the Great smoked the “herb stramonium (an anticholinergic agent related to ipratropium and tiotropium currently used in inhalers)”. He did this to relax his lungs.
  • In Rome, “Pliny the elder (50 AD) observed that pollen was a source of respiratory difficulty and recommended the use of “ephedra” (forerunner of ephedrine) in red wine as an asthma remedy. Unfortunately, he also suggested that drinking the blood of wild horses and eating 21 millipedes soaked in honey could help.”
  • Tobacco was introduced in the 1500’s. It was used to make you cough up mucus. Also in Central America the Aztecs had a plant that was treated with cocaine and was supposed to help with asthma symptoms.
  • In the 1800’s Arsenic was introduced to treat asthma and respiratory conditions.

(Sourced: Allergy & Asthma.com – http://www.allergyandasthma.com/home/articles/history-of-asthma, 27th June, 2014)

Has there been any way out treatment that you thought would never work and it did?  Let us know.

Thank god we have modern medicine! Child using asthma inhaler. Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Thank god we have modern medicine! Child using asthma inhaler. Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

NOTE: Make sure you stay safe everyone and check with your doctor about treatments that can help with your asthma and allergies. Be safe and well and this is just a look back on history.

Make sure you stay on top of keeping you well. The National Asthma Council of Australia have a great checklist. See it here.

You can create an action plan via the Asthma Buddy Phone Apps. Keep up to date records and have everything about your health available at the touch of your fingertips.

Disclaimer: I am entering the Excellence in Asthma & Allergy Reporting Awards. I aim to create more awareness about asthma and allergies. In the process it would be nice to win the prize but just to be in it will be achievement enough.

Stay tuned for the last part of this series, my interviews with people dealing with asthma and allergies.

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